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Key Methods in Geography

Key Methods in Geography

Third Edition
Edited by:
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May 2016 | 752 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"Practical, accessible, careful and interesting, this...revised volume brings the subject up-to-date and explains, in bite sized chunks, the "how's" and "why's" of modern day geographical study...[It] brings together physical and human approaches again in a new synthesis." - Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford

Key Methods in Geography is the perfect introductory companion, providing an overview of qualitative and quantitative methods for human and physical geography. 

New to the third edition:

  • 12 new chapters representing emerging themes including online, virtual and digital geographical methods
  • Video introductions for each section
  • Real-life case study examples
  • Summaries and exercises for each chapter
  • Free online access to full text of Progress in Human Geography and Progress in Physical Geography Progress Reports
The teaching of research methods is integral to all geography courses: Key Methods in Geography, 3rd Edition explains all of the key methods with which geography undergraduates must be conversant.
Nicholas Clifford, Shaun French, Meghan Cope and Thomas Gillespie
Getting Started in Geographical Research: how this book can help
Joanna Bullard
Health, Safety and Risk in the Field
Iain Hay
On Being Ethical in Geographical Research
Mick Healey and Ruth L. Healey
How to Conduct a Literature Search
Jennifer Hill and Helen Walkington
Effective Research Communication
Fiona Smith
Working in different cultures and different languages
Ruth Craggs
Historical and Archival Research
Sara L. McLafferty
Conducting questionaire surveys
Robyn Longhurst
Semi-structured interview and focus groups
Alan Latham
Respondent Diaries
Eric Laurier
Participant and non-participant observation
Ben Anderson
Researching Affect and Emotion
Myrna Breitbart
Participatory Action Research
Marcus Doel
Textual Analysis
Liz Roberts
Interpreting the Visual
Ate Poorthuis, Matthew Zook, Taylor Shelton, Mark Graham & Monica Stephens
Using Geotagged Digital Social Data in Geographic Research
Mike Crang & Siti Haji Bin Mohamed
Researching Virtual Communities
Matthew W. Wilson
Critical GIS
Alan Marshall
Quantitative modelling in human geography
Shelly A. Rayback
Making Observations and Measurements in the Field
Scott A. Mensing
Making Observations and Measurements in the Laboratory
Laura N. Stahle and Cathy Whitlock
Getting information from the past: Paleoecological studies of terrestrial ecosystems
Stuart Lane
Numerical modelling: Understanding explanation and prediction in physical geography
James D. A. Millington
Simulation and reduced complexity models
Martin Wooster, Nicholas Drake & Tom Smith
Remote Sensing and Satellite Earth Observation
Peter L. Guth
Digital Terrain Analysis
Thomas Gillespie
Environmental GIS
George P. Malanson and Benjamin W. Heumann
Models and Data in Biogeography and Landscape Ecology
Peter Glaves
Environmental audit, appraisal and valuation
Naomi Tyrrell
Making use of secondary data
Eric Delmelle
Using Statistics to Describe and Explore Spatial Data
Richard Field
Exploring and presenting quantitative data
Liz Taylor
Case Study Methodology
Chris Perkins
Mapping and Graphicacy
Stuart Barr
Statistical analysis using MINITAB and SPSS
Meghan Cope & Hilda Kurtz
Organizing, Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data
Nigel Walford
Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Brad Garrett
Video, Audio & Technology-based Applications


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For students

  • SAGE journal articles
  • Further reading
  • Exercises
  • Supplementary material

This is an excellent first stop for any geography dissertation student - and very well placed for those research across the physical-human divide.

Dr Clancy Wilmott
Geography, Manchester University
December 4, 2017

This is an essential text for geography undergraduates and lecturers designing undergraduate modules. It offers a useful introduction to - and overview of - key geographical research methods (both quantitative and qualitative, human and physical), alongside a discussion of fieldwork practicalities, techniques of analysis, and issues such as ethics and risk. I regularly recommend this as a first point of call for both first years, just beginning their forays into fieldwork, and final year students, commencing on their independent research projects.

Dr Benjamin Garlick
Faculty of Arts, York St John University
January 30, 2019

The text presents clearly written introductions to a comprehensive range of research techniques. I recommend this book to geography and environmental management undergraduates and postgraduates beginning to examine potential research methodologies.

Dr Ken E Boyle
School of Spatial Planning, Dublin Institute of Technology
December 10, 2015

This book is valuable and comprehensive in content, but practical for students learning in urban and regional planning field.

Professor Roos Akbar
Regional and City Planning, Institute of Technology
July 29, 2016

Having looked through the wide selection of methods discussed in the book, I think that this is perfect for the Researching Manchester course I'm leading, which aims to give Year 1 students a broad overview of many different approaches.

Dr Ross Jones
School of Environment and Development, Manchester University
November 17, 2016

Excellent textbook that provides a state-of-the-art overview on different key methods students will need during their master courses and for their final exam.

Professor Sven Fuchs
Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
October 6, 2016

This is a valuable volume that provides students a comprehensive overview of the key debates and practical challenges involved in geographic research methods. For academics, it will serve as a useful resource and entry point into new methods

Dr Andrew Williams
School of City & Regional Planning, Cardiff University
August 20, 2016

A general book with a broad perspective on methods complemented with nice and practical examples.

Dr Åsa Danielsson
Environmental Studies , Linkoping University
August 9, 2016

This is a wonderful text for students approaching their independent study projects and dissertations. The text includes a variety of approaches for doing research in Geography and offers essential insights and reflections on the reasons for using certain methods and the implications of using them.

Dr Diana Martin
Dept of Geography, Portsmouth University
June 6, 2016

Landscape Architecture covers a wide range of disciplines, from Arts, Humanities and Sciences, this book covers the basic steps in setting up a research project extremely well, and these are just as applicable in Landscape Architecture as Geography. The structure and sequence is excellent, tips in chapter 4 are helpful and the chapters on technology such as GIS and the chapters on Spatial Data and on Audit are very helpful for anyone considering topics on larger scale Landscape Planning.

Mr David Booth
Art & Design, Gloucestershire University
June 16, 2016

New to the third edition:

  • 12 new chapters representing emerging themes including online, virtual and digital geographical methods
  • Video introductions for each section, including Nick Clifford talking about the importance of methods
  • Real-life case study examples
  • Now in full colour, with lots more maps to reflect the growing role of digital/spatial media
  • Summaries and exercises for each chapter, and new student-focussed features including synopses, boxes, and updated further reading
  • Free online access to full text of Progress in Human Geography and Progress in Physical Geography Progress Reports

Nicholas Clifford

Nick Clifford is Professor and Head of Department at King’s College London. More About Author

Meghan Cope

Dr. Meghan Cope is an urban social geographer. She is mainly interested in the ways that social, economic, political, and environmental processes influence cities and communities, as well as the ways that people's everyday lives create meaningful spaces and places within, or even against, the larger-scale processes operating on them. Her focus has always been on social/spatial processes of marginalization and disempowerment, for example, through gender, race/ethnicity, class, youth, etc. She is especially motivated by issues such as employment, households and neighborhoods, welfare, public space, poverty, discrimination, and identity. She... More About Author

Thomas W. Gillespie

Thomas Gillespie teaches geography at UCLA.  More About Author

Shaun French

Shaun French is Associate Professor in Economic Geography at the University of Nottingham. More About Author